Are We To Perish As Fools?

My weekly column will appear tomorrow at 10am. Today is a holiday. It’s the day we set aside to honor Dr. Martin Luther King.

I’m not sure we’re doing that these days. By “these days” I’ll specifically refer to this weekend. After more than a year of a divisive election, we as a country seem hell bent on having all of what we want, and none of what the other political side wants. As such, any means seem to justify the ends. If that means demonizing any and all who support the other side, so be it.

This is unhealthy, and cannot continue. Something’s got to give.

One of the reasons I’ve enjoyed this role and this space is that State issues are mostly non-partisan. In a state that’s supermajority Republican, issues aren’t decided by partisan talking points. More often, they’re decided on a coalition when the suburban voters join either urban or rural representatives. We unite based on geography to solve problems, which means at least at some point we do identify with our neighbors. There’s a grain of hope in that.

As we’ve written more here about national politics, and as some state issues are now in Washington’s court (i.e, Medicaid reform/ACA repeal), the tone here among our regulars is also hyper-partisan. Folks that used to be able to have a decent and respectful conversation have resorted to rote talking points. Even here, we’re drifting apart.

I don’t have a solution. This one’s above my pay grade. But as it is MLK day, I’ll start with a quote tweeted this morning by WSB:

“We must live together as brothers, or perish together as fools” – Martin Luther King Jr.

That’s not a lighthearted quote, nor is it a throwaway to mark today and move on to business as usual. A Democratic Republic cannot exist if the participants adopt a model of a zero sum game. We must work together. Everyone must win something.

Too many of us are playing an all or nothing game. If we keep this up, the only way it can end is with nothing. And only fools will let that happen. Let’s not be among them please.

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Mark RountreeGregsDave BearseAndrew C. Popexdog Recent comment authors
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xdog
xdog

You mention two separate issues. The first is your expectation that people should be quiet and civil while they watch an unqualified child and a radical congress attempt to direct the country. That ain’t gonna happen. I talked to a daughter of a friend yesterday who has a 3 yo boy with a medical condition he was born with. She’s rightfully scornful and dismissive of those who intend to disrupt her life, and who can blame her? The second is the increase in rote talking points on this board. Agreed, it’s tiresome and not a good recruitment tool for newbies.… Read more »

Dave Bearse
Dave Bearse

Guilty as charged as being among the handful of posters.

There was a time when blog discourse at the level of decorum of the office of POTUS was a high standard. Trump’s first accomplishment has been to put political blog discourse on his Presidential level of decorum.

Mark Rountree
Mark Rountree

XDog writes, “The first is your expectation that people should be quiet and civil while they watch an unqualified child and a radical congress attempt to direct the country.”

Either Charlie deleted these words from his original post, or I think I found your first fool.

xdog
xdog

“demonizing” “hell-bent” “hyper-partisan”

No matter. There’ll be a little extra in your paycheck this week.

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

Charlie, your post reminded me of Obama’s words last week: “It falls to each of us to be those those anxious, jealous guardians of our democracy; to embrace the joyous task we’ve been given to continually try to improve this great nation of ours. Because for all our outward differences, we, in fact, all share the same proud title, the most important office in a democracy: Citizen.” Two lines later, Obama challenged us all to step out of our ideological bubbles and, instead of arguing with strangers over the Internet, have a conversation with them in “real life.” With that,… Read more »

Gregs
Gregs

You’re right about the marked change in tone, not just for this blog but for discourse in general. We’ve had to have “conversations” with several employees at work about discussing politics at work, not just because they were discussing politics, but because the tone of the discussion was so offensive to other people. Trump supporters seem emboldened to “rub” other people’s nose in his win using the same over the top rhetoric that Trump used to get elected. On the other hand, the supporters of Hilary and the “never-Trump” crowd refuse to accept Trump as the “legitimate” President-elect. The same… Read more »

Dave Bearse
Dave Bearse

That will be a valid concern in a few years after Trump has released his taxes and there’s been multiple investigations Russian interference in the election and of Trump and his campaign and advisors tie’s possible ties to the Russians.